Tina Brown on her new book 'The Vanity Fair Diaries'

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
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Former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown discusses her new book with Janet Davies.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Tina Brown was at the forefront of fashion and celebrity gossip as the editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair in the '80s and early '90s.

She helped turn the magazine into a powerhouse through her role. Now, she's authored a new book on those experiences, titled "The Vanity Fair Diaries."

Brown, who was in Chicago Wednesday, spoke with Janet Davies on how she turned the magazine into one of the hottest publications in print during a thrilling era. Her book covers her 10-year stint at the magazine and touches on everything from coverage of the royals, to scandals and fashion.

"It was a wildly social, glamorous, glitzy time, it was the era of Madonna's rise and Miami Vice and Reagan era White House with John Travolta dancing with Diana," said Brown.

Brown was a working, British mom of two when given the job of saving Vanity Fair from folding.

"It was a cutting edge culture that combined celebrities and crime and politics and art, and all the packaging we put together of all these topics came together as a Vanity Fair issue," she said.

Brown's book covers her tenure at Vanity Fair from 1983-1992. One of Brown's secret weapons from the start was star photographer Annie Leibovitz.

"You remember that great picture of Whoopi Goldberg in a tub of milk? Maybe the most favorite cover was the Demi Moore pregnant cover... The great thing about Annie- she always goes further," Brown said.

Brown knows the royal family, and wrote a book about Princess Diana.

"Even as Diana completely injected youth and excitement into the royal family and then Kate in her own way - but Meghan particularly because she's bi-racial, she's a divorcee, she's completely her own woman and she's American, let us not forget that. Diana loved America, she really did, and probably would have wound up here. I'm sure that Diana is really thinking where ever she is now, how happy she is," Brown said.

Brown appeared at the University Club for a book signing event Wednesday.